Eight adults and one child have been confirmed dead in a petrol tanker fire on the bridge near Sir Michael Otedola Estate at Berger, Lagos on Thursday evening.
The incident occurred when a Mack truck caught fire and engulfed about 54 vehicles.
A similar crash on the bridge four years ago left many dead and a number of vehicles destroyed when a Dangote truck lost its brakes and slammed into a traffic jam.
Trucks have at different times crashed into vehicles and killed people.
A statement by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency’s General Manager, Adesina Tiamiyu, reads: “On getting to the scene of the incident it was discovered that a Mack tanker truck loaded with 33 liters of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) moving inward Berger at about 5:23pm, fell and spilled its content on the road resulting into fire outbreak.
“Unfortunately, nine persons were confirmed dead and recovered from the scene (eight adults and one minor) and four persons sustained various degrees of injuries and taken to the hospital. A total number of 54 vehicles were completely burnt as a result of the inferno.
“The agency’s LASEMA Response Team, men of Lagos State Fire Service, LRU fire, LSNC, NSCDC, FRSC, LASAMBUS, LASTMA, SEHMU, LSPWC and Nigeria Police Force from Alausa and Isheri Division were the responders present at the scene. Effort on going to recover all burnt vehicles off the road. Recovery operations ongoing.”
Meanwhile, the state government in a statement by its Commissioner for Information, Me. Kehinde Bamigberan, expressed sadness at the incident.
It reads: “Lagos State Government has commiserated with families of victims who lost their lives and property in a fatal tanker explosion which occurred on Thursday evening on Otedola Bridge, inward Ojodu Berger area of the State.
The incident, which occurred at about 5pm, left scores of vehicles burnt while some lives were lost.
The Government, in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, described the incident as a sad development, saying that the incident was most unfortunate and regrettable.
“On behalf of the Lagos State Government, we extend our deepest commiseration to the families of persons who lost their lives as well as properties to the incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this time of pain and grief.
“As a government, we would not relent in putting measures in place to ensure safety of lives and property of all residents,” Bamigbetan said.
The commissioner said that Governor Ambode has directed all relevant agencies to move into the area to normalise the apprehension that had taken over the area and to also ensure that those in need are adequately taken care of.
The governor assured that clearing of the highway of damaged vehicles to establish normal traffic flow would continue throughout the night until the objective is achieved.
He called for the co-operation of all citizens with the officials of the agencies to restore the situation to normalcy.
He also urged motorists to continue to adhere to the safety standard and the State Traffic Laws so as to prevent a re-occurrence of such incidents.”